On my return from the Thanksgiving weekend I was delighted to find an email from Dr Robert Marshall Wells, the MediaLab Faculty Advisor at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.
Robert had written to tell me about the premier of the MediaLab documentary, Overexposed: The Cost of Compassion, in Seattle on October 8th, a celebration which he described as "an unqualified success". I have had the privilege of watching the development of this documentary about compassion fatigue almost from its inception and I couldn't have been happier to hear about the positive reception that greeted the final product.
A team of PLU students - Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, Hailey Rile, and Katie Scaff among others - travelled thousands of miles around North America interviewing more than 60 CF specialists and gathering information and film footage for the project. As they learned more about CF, they realized that it was much more than just the source of diminishing contributions to charitable agencies, (more correctly called donor fatigue or, perhaps, compassion burnout), - rather, that it is a condition of secondary posttraumatic stress that overwhelms many who work with the suffering or traumatized. And, thus, the scope of the film began to grow.
I hope to receive a copy of Overexposed in the near future and am looking forward to the possibility of showing it here in Vancouver sometime in the New Year. (Watch this space!) In the meantime, a heartfelt, Congratulations!, to Robert, Elizabeth, Hailey, Katie, Annika and all the others involved. A job well done.